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A sweeping historical epic and a radical new interpretation of Vasco da Gama’s groundbreaking voyages, seen as a turning point in the struggle between Christianity and Islam
In 1498 a young captain sailed from Portugal, circumnavigated Africa, crossed the Indian Ocean, and discovered the sea route to the Indies and, with it, access to the fabled wealth of the East. It was the longest voyage known to history. The little ships were pushed beyond their limits, and their crews were racked by storms and devastated by disease. However, their greatest enemy was neither nature nor even the sheer dread of venturing into unknown worlds that existed on maps populated by coiled, toothy sea monsters. With bloodred Crusader crosses emblazoned on their sails, the explorers arrived in the heart of the Muslim East at a time when the old hostilities between Christianity and Islam had risen to a new level of intensity. In two voyages that spanned six years, Vasco da Gama would fight a running sea battle that would ultimately change the fate of three continents.
An epic tale of spies, intrigue, and treachery; of bravado, brinkmanship, and confused and often comical collisions between cultures encountering one another for the first time; Holy War also offers a surprising new interpretation of the broad sweep of history. Identifying Vasco da Gama’s arrival in the East as a turning point in the centuries-old struggle between Islam and Christianity—one that continues to shape our world—Holy War reveals the unexpected truth that both Vasco da Gama and his archrival, Christopher Columbus, set sail with the clear purpose of launching a Crusade whose objective was to reach the Indies; seize control of its markets in spices, silks, and precious gems from Muslim traders; and claim for Portugal or Spain, respectively, all the territories they discovered. Vasco da Gama triumphed in his mission and drew a dividing line between the Muslim and Christian eras of history—what we in the West call the medieval and the modern ages. Now that the world is once again tipping back East, Holy War offers a key to understanding age-old religious and cultural rivalries resurgent today.
It's a long read but really interesting, I had no idea how important the spice trade was even way back then. Read morePublished 2 days ago by gordon
It was an interesting book, but I was not thrilled with the apparent agenda of the author. He seemed to go in with an anti-Western bias and it became more and more apparent as the... Read morePublished 15 days ago by J. Manna
A well researched and articulate book on the Christian Muslim conflict. How the Christian Church influenced the age of discovery as much as the desire to find a cheaper route to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dennis Hanlon
Nigel Cliff's historical narrative flows with such fluidity that I feel as if I am reading a novel. The facts were correct based upon my own overlapping studies of this period. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brett Stortroen
I enjoyed this book immensely, couldn't put it down. My first Kindle read, which I found much less satisfactory than reading a paper book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by leonard coulson
Good book what more can I say except I can't understand why they require a written explanation, I mean the stars should say enough..Published 6 months ago by Carmine Doddato
A very interesting portrayal of those times. I guess when we look at it, things haven't changed all that much.
da Gamba was a driven (and ruthless) man. Read more
Erasing human myths from Middle Ages, like the Templars and all the chapter related to alchemical researches and the promised-land research, like Priester John realm. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Paulo Guilherme Hostin Sämy